Had the misfortune to spend the past week in agony with a broken and exposed tooth waiting for an appointment with the oral surgeon. Don’t remember how I broke the top back molar; most people don’t know when asked. Anyway my visit to the dentist office went something like this: (The dentist and his sparkling assistant) Well, we can save that tooth (me) — How much? — we have an in-office machine gizmo that will make the crown for you today! — How much? — no need for a temporary fillling here! — How much? — we’ll also need to do a root canal on the tooth — How much? — let me let the office manager come in and explain your options. The office manager, a very nice lady, comes in trying to balance a stack of papers: — Well, I had the hardest time with your name! Matching the name with your account! (giggle giggle) — How much? — Well let me explain your options. Now today we can have you out of here with a complete new crown, we make right here in the office! —How much? — we have state of the art crown maker, no need for a temporary like they make you use at those other dental clinics — How much? — and the doctor says you’ll need a root canal too sooooooo, your portion of the crown, you know after the insurance pays is just $890. (pregnant pause) And of course the root canal will come to around $600 so a total of about $1490. (pregnant twins pause) Then she said of course the other choice is to have the tooth pulled but we never want to do that when we can save your valuable tooth! How much? — Well I don’t have that with me let me just go print that out … back with a swirl of pleated skirts like she’s going to a square-dance — an extraction will be $129. I gave her the look — I’m a tooth lighter today. And by the way, when I woke up from the extraction (you Seinfeld watchers) my shirt was untucked; ponder that!